Best practices for leveraging Net Promoter Score (NPS) in e-commerce

Earning and retaining a loyal, happy customer doesn’t often happen by chance. A myriad of actions lead a consumer to the first purchase, and that experience determines whether or not they intend to purchase from the retailer again.

Many e-commerce merchants use Net Promoter Score (NPS) to identify areas that are thriving and those that need improvement. The score is used as a guide for growing the business and earning loyal customers. As best said by SatisMeter co-founder Ondrej Sedlacek, “The point of NPS isn’t the score, but what good you do with it.”

With so much weight placed on one metric, here’s a few tips for how to best leverage NPS in your e-commerce business.

  1. Survey all customers, not just top spenders An accurate NPS depends on surveying a representative sample of your customers. Avoid inaccurate scores by surveying all customers at checkout whether they have an account, or choose to check out as a guest.Ensure your process is consistent to avoid skewed results by taking into account the size of the sample audience. The smaller the sample audience, the greater the risk of a score that does not accurately represent customer sentiment. The bigger your audience, the more accurate your data.
  2. Timing and frequency are key Measure NPS regularly, not just once. If there’s anything we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that circumstances change unexpectedly and can have a profound impact on consumer opinions. Ensuring a routine survey cadence enables a positive feedback loop and keeps you aligned with your customers at all times.
  3. Conduct drip vs. batch NPS surveys While there is value to reaching as many consumers as possible with one survey, blast surveys will reach shoppers at different stages of their lifecycle and may skew results. The best NPS surveys are orchestrated according to the user lifecycle stage taking into account their interaction with the merchant. A past buyer researching a new purchase or someone waiting on a refund from a returned item should receive different survey questions relevant to their experience.
  4. Always follow-up to close the feedback loop Net Promoter Scores are a great way to learn about your customers and performance as a business, however, consumers expect something in return for taking the time to share their opinions and experience with you. Be sure to respond directly to consumer feedback whether it be a complaint, recommendation, or praise. Customer retention is directly correlated to increased profit. Don’t lose out by failing to close the loop with your customers.
  5. Share NPS feedback with the whole team As mentioned earlier, acting on the NPS scores is the most critical part of the process. The most effective way to make a difference is by sharing the feedback internally. Each team utilizes the information to better their output. For example, the customer service team will want to know if there are customers ready to churn and take action to correct any negative experiences, the product team can better understand the consumer experience and take steps to enhance it, and marketing can study how consumers respond to their brand and products to create new growth initiatives.


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